Right Sized

On the brink of May 2017, I am continuing to share my experience with spiritual principals learned and incorporated into my life as the result of following the program of recovery from alcoholism. The 12 steps in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today we’re at step seven, “Humbly asked Him, to remove our shortcomings.” The principle behind this one is Humility. I’ll start with the definition then relate what I’ve heard and learned.

Humility

noun

  1. the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

Humble

noun

  1. not proud or arrogant; modest
  2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc
  3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly
  4. courteously respectful
  5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size 

Now considering all of that and what I know of humility it’s just a bunch of words trying to describe something that is on the verge of indescribable.

Being humble or having humility is, I have heard, “Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” “Being Right Sized”

For me, it is the polar opposite of what we’re taught to be. Consider others before myself. My importance is derived from what I have to offer, not what’s in it for me. If I’m in pain or struggling, that is within me and not the result of what I may think has been done to me. I’m responsible. I’m willing to be a cause in the matter.

If you want to make a difference, start with the person you’ve known, longer than anybody else. Me 😛

I’ll leave you with this inspired piece of music

 

Advertisements

Willingness

“If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it.” Then you are ready to take certain steps. From How it works. Here we/I are/am at step 6

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

So I have identified and shared my less than savory aspects of my behavior. I have also discovered where I have been deceitful to myself and others to achieve my objectives and the self-centered fear behind all of that.

How does one become entirely ready for anything, much less having all of my survival mechanisms removed? I must first recognize that they might not be and that it’s not up to me that they are removed. As with all the occasions where I find that I am reluctant, I am instructed to pray.

As I become willing for my character to be repaired, I am faced with being an active participant. Namely, where I have been dishonest, I need to stop lying. Where I have been lazy, I need to get up off my ass and do something positive/productive. Where I have been disingenuous, I need to learn how to say no.

The most important thing, in my opinion here, is to have and cultivate greater faith that all is well and I will be allowed to make mistakes to learn valuable lessons. And that is not only ok, it is Good.

 

 

How does that lead to Integrity?

Welcome, if you’ve not been following along on our trip, investigating the spiritual principles behind working the steps found in the 12 Steps, primarily from the book Alcoholics Anonymous

So here we are at Step 5 Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. I am not going to talk here, about how it’s done, or why, or the ways to overcome the inevitable reluctance to performing this step. There is a plethora of writing on those subjects.

I want to relay my experience of how admitting the sheer wretchedness of myself leads to integrity.

Integrity- noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished:

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.

 

When I first learned that integrity was the principle behind this, I automatically thought #1 here and was confused other than the idea of integrating my entire past, however repulsive, by honest admission.
I have found, though that this step is imperative to arriving at #2 being whole.
Throughout my life, I denied or fought my demons or impaired myself to escape it. In doing so I gave these secrets power, which in turn pushed me to even more erratic insanity. I have to be a member of the human race and society, however painful it is. By sharing my weaknesses and flaws with another, healing my battered character can begin.

Honesty

Continuing my endeavor into principles that I somehow failed to integrate as I grew up. If any have any questions about that, just start from my first post and that should explain a lot. My guess though is that most get it.
So I’ve subjected myself to enough emotional anguish and despair that I have become willing to surrender. At which point, in my opinion, freedom is then possible. The next stop on our journey is honesty.
hon·es·ty
ˈänəstē/
noun
 the quality of being honest.
  1. “they spoke with convincing honesty about their fears”
    synonyms: integrity, uprightness, honorableness, honor, morality, morals, ethics, principles, high principles, righteousness, right-mindedness; More

    2.
    a European plant with purple or white flowers and round, flat, translucent seedpods that are used for indoor flower arrangements.
    09fd691d-52fe-496c-a6a1-66918b05ab88
    Clearly, I’m not talking about the flower. Honesty for me is something I thought I had always been good at. I have a problem though about being honest with myself. More about that here. Honestly?
    The kind of freedom I am alluding to is phenomenally described here.
    I believe this whole-heartedly and have experienced that kind of freedom from my days aboard ship in the Navy, while restricted to the ship and involved some extra duty. Freedom is a state of mind. Honesty with oneself is imperative.
    We admitted we…
    I had to admit that my best thinking got me here and that I must be willing to do things differently. So now what?
    more on that later. So long for now

    St. Augustine

    Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to him who made you. Stand with him and you shall stand fast. Rest in him and you shall be at rest. Where do you go along these rugged paths? Where are you going?…Why then will you wander farther and farther in these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest where you seek it. Seek what you seek, but remember that it is not where you seek it. You seek for a blessed life in the land of death. It is not there. For how can there be a blessed life where life itself is not?

The Seeker

I’ve looked under chairs
I’ve looked under tables
I’ve tried to find the key
To fifty million fables

chorus:
They call me The Seeker
I’ve been searching low and high
I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

I asked Bobby Dylan
I asked The Beatles
I asked Timmothy Leary
But he couldn’t help me either

chorus

People tend to hate me
‘Cause I never smile
As I ransack their homes
They want to shake my hand

Focusing on nowhere
Investigating miles
I’m a seeker
I’m a really desperate man

I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

I learned how to raise my voice in anger
Yeah, but look at my face, ain’t this a smile?
I’m happy when life’s good
And when it’s bad I cry
I’ve got values but I don’t know how or why

I’m looking for me
You’re looking for you
We’re looking in at each other
And we don’t know what to do

Pete Townsend

The Who

When you can’t look on the bright side, I’ll sit with you in the dark -Alice in Wonderland

This week a theme has been percolating within me since my last post and the one before that. Things that I’ve read, things I have been thinking about, I know that is a dangerous endeavor, given my thinking problem. I have uncovered something that seems universal.  There is no way I can be of any help if I can’t comprehend what you’re even talking about. In addition, good things grow out of compost.

If I am to help anybody find God I must understand the sinner- God Calling

One thing that had been scratching the inside of my skull was one I heard in A.A. meetings and I found it here.

A drunk fell in a hole and couldn’t get out. A businessman went by. The drunk called out for help. The businessman threw him some money and told him, get yourself a ladder. But the drunk could not find a ladder in this hole he was in.

A doctor walked by. The drunk said, “Help, I can’t get out.” The doctor gave him drugs and said, “Take this, it will relieve the pain.” The drunk said thanks, but when the pills ran out, he was still in the hole.

A renowned psychiatrist rode by and heard the drunks cries for help. He stopped and said, “How did you get there? Were you born there? Were you put there by your parents? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.” So the drunk talked with him for an hour, then the psychiatrist had to leave, but he said he’d be back next week. The drunk thanked him, but he was still in his hole.

A priest came by and the drunk called for help. The priest gave him a Bible and said I’ll say a prayer for you. He got down on his knees and prayed for the drunk, then left. The drunk was very grateful, he read the Bible, but he was still stuck in that hole.

A recovering alcoholic happened to be passing by. The drunk cried out, “Hey, help me, I’m stuck in this hole.” Right away, the recovering alcoholic jumped in the hole with him. The drunk said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here.” But the recovering alcoholic said, “It’s okay, I’ve been here before, I know how to get out.”

Taking all of that into account, all of which I, wholeheartedly agree with, I am willing and able to get into the foulest putrid muck of the abyss, with you.

It is a place from which I have emerged, but not without someone who has been there. So the cycle continues, a seemingly catastrophic fracture of psyche takes us to unfamiliar territory, where the solid ground on which I once found firm and reliable is now quicksand. All of the survival mechanisms on which I had relied upon have evaporated. The primary reason, I have found was and continues to be my recent discovery of using things, people, activities to make me feel better. That I was maniacally self-centered and demanding that these things continue to do their magic. They inevitably fail, leaving me in nearly unbearable pain. The only things left are find something more satisfying or surrender.

I ask for help from God, and others who have shared their experience with me, elucidating the familiarity with my dilemma. I can sit in that dark place with you and share without fear and grow.